Wednesday, September 24, 2008

100 squats with a 50 blob

I came close to 100 straight reps while holding a 50 blob on my back. I had a 10 second water break between reps 65 and 66 so I can't count them as straight reps. The weight came off my back for 10 seconds which helped out immensely. Once rep 66 started though, I did not put the blob down until 100 reps were finished. I am hoping to buy a 50kg/110lb KB at the Backyard Bastard Bash 4 on Oct. 4th. I was thinking about throwing in some higher rep swings with it on occasion to save my quads from to much torment in the beginning. Of course my back would take the brunt of that torment in the meantime:D

On a side note, I really want to see if I can snatch it. I have snatched an 88 easily and a 95 with little difficulty. The only difficulty I had was getting used to the weight on the fly since I had only done 24kg swings before that. I know I could snatch the beast at 106 so what's an extra 4lbs? We'll see how much more 4lbs is come Oct. 4th :D

Monday, September 22, 2008

A new goal, SQUATS!!!

The late, great Jesse Marunde would often reply to training questions on his forum with "SQUAT MORE". It wasn't a yell, there was never an exclamation point. It was just a loud reminder that if your not squatting, you SHOULD BE and if you are squatting, you just need to SQUAT MORE.

I am one of those dweebs who never squats as much as he should and recently not at all. I find it very sad that I recently moved 275 on the decline bench last week and my max squat still sits at 275. In fact, I'd call myself absolutely pathetic for it. I have no qualms about calling myself a pussy for avoiding hard work. I focused on my DL for a few months and it went from 335 to 440. Now I'm lucky to get 410+ off the ground because I don't often DL either; Only when I feel like pulling. However, it is hard for me to find the time to drive out to my shop where all my weights are during the day. So, I have decided to go for a reletively insane goal. When I first visited Jesse's site, I read about a training partner of his lovingly dubbed "SARGE". Sarge managed to squat his BW of 218lbs for 98 repititions with the goal being 100 straight. I plan on doing the exact same thing.

This is not something to into unprepared. Remember that Jesse Marunde died after one of his serious squatting workouts. He was born with an enlarged heart that didn't pump as it should. The extreme strain of his training was just too much for his heart to bare. Sarge worked up to his 100 rep attempt by doing 10 sets of 10 using 110lbs less than his 10 rep max for 11 weeks and making the attempt on the 12th. Sarge had by this time been doing 20 rep squats multiple times a week for 3 years. So he was already very conditioned but this feat would require an absolutely insane amount of conditioning and strength endurance.

I have no dilusions about this feat being easy. I have recently started doing BW squats everyday with the goal being 100 squats straight with little effort and next to no soreness. I am quite close right now. My most recent session was done in 2 sets of 70 and 30. I will be adding 20-30lbs until I can do 100 straight squats with those weights and with little soreness afterwards. My BW right now is 183lbs before dinner and after a poop. So I'll make the goal weight 185 for now. Perhaps I can perform this feat in the next 6 months and perhaps it'll take over a year. Either way, the attempt will be filmed and I will post it for the world to see.

Wish me luck!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Steel Plate Tear

Inspired by Chris Rider's plate confetti feat, I went for as many tears as I could get. Chris managed to tear an older plate into 52 pieces!!! I managed 8 pieces so far. I cannot stress enough how important it is to be CAREFUL attempting plate tearing. I wore rubber coated gloves and used a thick towel for padding.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Deadlifts are Dangerous

Deadlifts are Dangerous. Plain and simple. They can destroy your back or make it stronger. It all depends upon you. There are a few things to remember when pulling,


There are hundreds of ways to hurt yourself doing deads, but you don't have to fall victim to a single one with a little investigation.

This is not me, but it is a very well put together video. I cannot disagree with very much this guy says. So, it's logical to assume that if you listen to him, your at least as prepared for deads as myself.

Monday, September 8, 2008


Almost everytime I walk into the gym, I hear somebody spewing ignorance as if it were their job. This isn't one of the billion "that guy" stories, more a general overview. I strkes me how wrong some people can be about something as simple as lifting weights. I particularly dislike hearing things like "squat too low and you'll hurt your knees" or "Deadlifts are too dangerous to outweigh their benefits". The real clincher for me is when someone comes into the gym telling anyone and everyone that they should train isolation movements to become strong.

For starters, you should never stop a squat above and close to parallel. When you stop above parallel, your forcing the musculature of the knee joint to stop the weight moving down. As you can imagine, your knees don't like that. Joints are put together to transfer force, not absorb it. If you go to parallel or below, parallel being where the hip crease is below the top of the knee, the forces are transferred from the knee joints to the hamstrings and glutes. The hams and glutes are muscles and as such are capable of absorbing force. I like to go super low. I'm talking about Ivan Chakarov low.
Not everyone can do that. Some guy's legs are just too bulky to allow their body to move like that. It's a flexibility issue for most. Your hip flexors, calves and achilles tendons aren't long enough. Try this right now, stand up with your feet a tad wider than shoulder width apart. Now drop down as low as you can go with your heels on the floor. Good. Now touch your ass to your calves. If you can't do both at the same time, you can't do a full squat. You are fully capable of stretching those muscles and tendons out enough for a full squat to be possible and I'd highly suggest it. Full squats aren't necessary for powerlifters and for the most part Strongmen, but any athlete would benefit more from a switch to full squats. Football, soccer, rugby, basketball, baseball, track and field, tennis, volleyball, whatever your sport, you will benefit more from a full squat than you will from a power squat. There are a few reasons for this,

#1. Full squats promote flexibility of the hips and legs
#2. Thanks to the emphasis on flexibility, full squats help to keep your hamstrings longer and give them strength through a greater range of motion. That means less chance of injury and more powerful squats, jumps, strides, etc.
#3. You will be building your leg strength and size proportionatly because your hamstrings, calves, glutes, and quads will be activated through a greater range of motion.

In short, the saying "You should be squatting" should be changed to "You should be squatting low".

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

First legitamite Shiny Bastard Bend

The cat has been let out of the bag. I'm a Shiny bender :)

I'll be working on bending these with singles.

Monday, September 1, 2008

This past month's progress...

I have never been big on DO bending. Mainly because I've never been very good at it.
Much has changed.

All the Bastards in the pic are the 515 Hard Dark Bastards. The two bastards with red on the legs are Big 515's and the pieces directly above those are a tough piece of 5/16x7 CRS and a piece of 5/16x7 303 Stainless. Directly under the Big 515's are two pieces of 5/16x8" hardware store 303 Stainless, MUCH MUCH tougher than any Shiny. The second row from the bottom consists of, from L to R, 2 pieces of 5/16x7.125 304 Stainless, 3/8x7 National HRS, 6.5x.323 W-1 DR and two .323x7 pieces of W-1 DR. The bottom row is, from L to R again, my first piece of 304 finished months ago and is exactly 2" to show how far I've come. The golden piece is 3/8x7 360 Brass(it's actually metric and a tad smaller than 3/8). The smaller 1/4" piece is 1/4x6.5 Grade 5 Titanium; During the crush, the pads were touching and I actually held them there for well over 10 seconds, no movement. Interesting stuff that Gr5 Ti. My first Shiny Bastard is second from the right on the bottom and the last piece is a Golden Hexabastard. The Shiny and the Golden are my PR's currently but I garauntee you that a 6.5" version of both can and will fall in under 2 mins once I'm rested up from GGC.

It's interesting, my kink has always been super strong, once I throw on my "superman pads"(suede outer wraps), my kink becomes even stronger. I'm not sure what I can do with single leathers, I have no IM pads. I'm fairly certain I could take a 515 Dark Bastard in single leathers. I really need to keep going on my singles bending.

A lot of people like to bend in ONLY double pads or ONLY single pads or ONLY IM pads. I'm here to tell you, if your one of those people, your missing out. I will say that working up to a RED nail or Bastard in IM pads and ONLY IM pads is the best possible thing for you to do. BUT, after that, start using doubles and leather/suede. I like to work my kinking strength by using my pathetic first leather single wraps on easier bends. I usually work up to a few pieces of 1/4x7" Sq. which all fall pretty easy. Like I said, I haven't really "maxed" with singles yet but I plan to as soon as possible. I'm curious to see how a 515 Bastard or Shiny would feel... For my crush, and for contest preparation, I like to use double wraps. I use my pathetic, torn leather wraps(much thinner than even your wraps Adam) as my under wrap with a nice thick, short piece of suede on top. It may not be the best setup but it's my favorite and I find that it's hardly as solid as other's double wrap setups. I'm not claiming to be better or stronger because of that either, because I'm not. It's just a preferance. Anyway, with the double wraps, I can kink much tougher steel and work my crushing strength. What I like to do sometimes is take an easier piece, say a 515 Bastard, and kink it to 20-40 degrees, then remove the outer wraps and take it down from there.

Training my kink by using thinner single pads has improved my kink strength immensely since I started bending back in late '07. Using doubles to get harder stock down the crush has helped my crush come up so much in only a month of serious training that I am taking down steel that was elite not too long ago. Using the doubles to kink and then using singles from there through the sweep and crush has improved my sweep strength and my crush. It's also helped condition my hands so that the kink feels even more comfortable.

Like I said in my first post, if you scoff at one discipline in favor of another, you are missing out. You will not be able to reach your true potential because your training will always be limited by what you stubbornly deem as the "right way". I say, get out there and use every possible advantage you can find to train with.

Current goals

  • Squat 185x100@185
  • Deadlift 500@190
  • Squat 405@190
  • Snatch 50kg KB
  • Bend 5/16x8" FNL Grade 8 Bolt
  • Overhead 2 100lb DB's
  • Bench 300@185